Paul Waters

Huna, Hawaiian Lore, and Today with Paul Waters

The Four Levels of Reality

Awareness for Healing and Change

Ike Papakahi:

Level One. Commonly associated with our conscious, physical state, level one is an objective, separate view of the world. Herein lies the scientific outlook of life and all its forms. The grass is separate from the tree, which has branches that are separate from the trunk, which is separate from the roots, etc. Of course, from the 7 principles
described in a connected area of this website, we can see that things may be viewed as not really separate at all, but we often choose to view them as such for the sake of convenience. A tree may argue that its trunk, branches and roots are all one and the same, with the same “stuff” comprising them. As humans, we could see that as well, but we could also see the leaves possibly being used as medicine, the bark being used for ointments or mulch (or tires, depending on the tree), the trunk as a source of paper and homes, and so on. Sometimes, separation can be very useful.


This level is also widely used for healing. Massage, chiropractic and other forms of bodywork are associated with first level. Herbs, medicines, surgery and “health” foods are just a few ways of healing in this realm. As we have been given a physical form to reside in during our stay here, we have also been given an undetermined number of ways to use the natural resources provided for higher health and harmony. It is not the only level on which we heal, but it can be very effective and often practical.

Ike Papalua:

Level two. Here we feel a connection with the tree. Our awareness shifts from a purely objective state to that of a more objective view. The tree now becomes alive and we can communicate with it. Commonly referred to as a psychic or telepathic level, this realm contains our clairvoyant, clairaudient and intuitive states. All things are connected in this view, so the tree is actually connected with us and we can receive sensory input from it, either on a subconscious or conscious level. Studies were done a number of years ago with plants and their responses to music. It was determined that they enjoyed classical music, or at least grew healthier when it was played, and responded positively to blessings and praise as opposed to arguing and loud noise. Because plants, animals and objects do not speak the same language as humans does not necessarily mean that we can not communicate with, or influence them. Most everyone I know will tell me that they get a different “feeling,” or sensation, while in nature than they get at home when washing the car. Both seem to capture your attention, and both seem to inspire or trigger their own individual responses in you, just as if they were talking with you. When you focus on an object, whether it is a car, tree or beast, your connection begins to generate thoughts. Sure, they are just your imagination from a first level point of view, but if you listen closely, you may pick up a message that you might not expect. The car, for example, may feel better when it is clean, and you may respond by feeling a sense of accomplishment, or even feeling better and happier yourself. The stronger your connection with a person, place or thing, the stronger the ties you create. In this state, then, we could truly call the tree our friend, and get some interesting information from it covering a possibly wide range of topics. And we can do this with anything, since all things are alive, aware and responsive.

This area also includes a number of divining methods and tools. Runes, stones, a wide variety of cards, pendulums, crystal balls, and a slew of other aids are used to help in our understanding of ourselves, to locate objects and gather information from a great range of sources.

As an aside, here’s something to ponder: If walls truly have “ears”, as the adage goes, then this could open a whole new line of study and questioning. It would probably make a whole lot of us more careful of what we say, too.

Ike Papakolu

Level three. This area of awareness views everything as a dream. The tree is having its own dream and we are having a dream in which the tree is a part. Just as people, places and things that appear in our night dreams are symbols of subconscious thoughts being revealed to us, so, too, are images we see and feel in our conscious state. Interpreting these symbols can reveal much about our current beliefs about issues. I have developed an entire course on this fascinating study that I call Symbolism And The Unseen. Students learn to revisit dreams, interpret them and understand deeper issues occurring in their waking states. Then, through consciously changing the dreams, their outer, “real” worlds change as well.

Our friend the tree, now, becomes a reflection of our beliefs. It is no coincidence that you saw it and if your curiosity beckons you, you can use the second level of awareness to ask it exactly what it represents in your life. If you happened to run into it or trip over one of its roots, that, too, is symbolic. Again, you could reside in the first level and view these occurrences as mere coincidences, dismissing the event as a bad “dream”, or you could look a little deeper into the phenomenon and find its symbolic significance. You then would have a starting point to change the dream so as not to have this happen again.

Healing on this level is quite profound. As you change your inner dream, your outer dream of reality changes as well. Just imagine for a moment that every part of your body is having a dream. Our third level focus could help us change a dream of illness to a dream of health. It may take a bit of practice and confidence, but many people have done just that. Books on the subject such as Anatomy Of An Illness by Norman Cousins addresses such a shift in focus. Instead of focusing on hopelessness and despair, he changed that dream to one of humor, laughter and health. This also infers that if you change the dream you have of a relationship with another person, place or thing, that relationship is changed in the physical world. Distance healing can be very effective when working on this level as well as level 2.

Ike Papaha

Level four. The holistic level. Everything is one in this realm. You and the tree are part of the same universe and are made of the same stuff. There is no separation, and you can identify with the characteristics of the tree yourself. It is similar to the feeling of family. If someone hurts a member of your family, you feel hurt. You have this identity of oneness.

Expand that feeling to others, and you enter the fourth level. Do not, however, confuse this feeling with empathy. In the holistic realm you merge with another entity for information, understanding, possible change and healing, not to hold the others’ pain or joy. The identification with ones pain for making appropriate changes does not require its holding and sustaining. You never become the other, but merge with its spirit.

Shamans call this shapeshifting; learning how to take on the characteristics of another. Actors call it role-playing. Let’s face it, Tom Hanks was Forrest Gump. Yet, I think we all experience the fourth level occasionally.

Have you ever been driving down a road and hit a pothole? Do you remember saying “ouch!” If you have, then it was at that moment you identified with your vehicle. You yourself were not hurt, but you felt for the vehicle you were driving, identified with its experience and expressed its pain.

How does all this help us with our relationships? I’m glad you asked! Just think of how much better a businessperson you would be if you began imitating what successful businesspeople do? Or, how much better of a basketball player could you be if you visualized and imitated Michael Jordan’s moves? It is not so far fetched. There are athletes in training now that are doing just that: visualizing, imitating, and seeing themselves as the best at what they do.

In another sense, healing relationships can be accomplished by combining the second level concept of spiritual connection with the identification ideas presented here to merge with the healee and effect change from within. The “healee,” in this instance, need not be a person, but possibly a tornado, hurricane, landslide, or any other unwanted natural occurrence. Rainmakers have used this technique for centuries, as have shamans, wizards, magicians and other practitioners of unorthodox and worldly means.

The World Is What You Think It Is

This is what it all comes down to. Many seemingly unexplainable events occur out there, and they all happen according to your view of the world. These “levels” are proposed as an aid to understanding such phenomena, and, according to your degree of belief have a corresponding depth of validity. Feel free to shift your focus between each at will. They are given in the spirit of healing and harmonizing your relationships with your environment. May your attitudes be flexible, loving, and with the greatest good of all in mind. Mahalo!

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